The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump
The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is a novel by American writer Harry Turtledove, published by Baen Books in 1993. While having some aspects of an alternate history, it is mainly a work of science fantasy depicting a world where spells, pragmatically used by some to achieve the same results as the use of technology, call upon a spectrum of major to minor deities of the present to the past that are functioning when called upon or omni-present and restricted to local use or having a greater area of influence. Spells are not toxin-free and can have an ill effect on the environment when the appropriate deities and practices are not considered. Disaster can follow.
|Cover artist||Stephen Hickman|
|Media type||Print (Paperback & Hardcover)|
The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump is set in a recognizable present-day United States (specifically, in a very recognizable analogue of Los Angeles), with many present-day technologies and institutions having a magical equivalent (for example, the analogue of the CIA is staffed by actual, literal spooks, and computers use a multitude of imps instead of microchips). The title refers to magic spells that can have toxic side-effects, much the same as industrial practices in our world; therefore, there is the need for a place where those toxins can be dumped to avoid damaging the environment.
The book also employs many of the conventions of the hard-boiled detective novel, transposed to this setting. The protagonist, EPA (Environmental Perfection Agency) agent David Fisher, is assigned a case that would appear to need little attention and a simple solution soon becomes complicated and dangerous.